Celluloid, 2005-10      

Celluloid was a long term project of Atopia through which we presented historically significant films by international artists who have influenced or given definitions to the practice of experimental filmmaking. This project was initiated in 2005.

With this project we aimed at screening films in a relevant context - in an environment which resonated with the subject of the films. Our hope was to create a multi-layered experience, which reaches beyond the frame of the film into the architecture and orientation of the screenings' spaces.


In 2010 when one of our Colleagues, Greg Pope started similar programming at Oslo Cinemateket we decided to put this project on hold.










James Benning (1942-) is among that generation of American Artist Filmmakers who emerged in the 1970's, and like many of his contemporaries, he bears a strong commitment to the medium of film. For instance with all the pressures and temptations at work today, he refuses to convert an distribute his films on video. (Film is film, "and everything else is everything else"). As a result we only see such works during rare and exceptional events" (F.K)


"Ten Skies is one of this unique filmmaker's greatest works and one of his most minimalist: ten shots of the sky, each lasting ten minutes. But the experience of watching - and hearing - it is fabulously rich and intense. The skyscapes are fillled with life and change at the speed of light. The soundtrack creates an equally rich narrative space by way of ten short stories that are 'insinuated' without ever being 'explained'. A masterpiece." (A.H)


"Ten Skies ... looks at light: here, directly at its source - the sun. all ten skies were filmed from my backyard in Southern California: sies formed from weather systems, montain land currets, wildfires, pollution and the wind; skies as a function of landscape_ the sound giving clues about the land below. Each sky is a detail selecte from the whole; sometimes filled with drama, somtimes a metaphor for peace....

The whole thing is very dramatic, and it's just cloud movement. All the shots end up with a dynamic quality.

I never saw that before. I never had the courage. It took me fifty years to look at the sky like that! I call it 'found paintings'. I think of my landscape works now as anti-war artworks - they're about the antithesis of war, the kind of beauty we're destroyin. The Ten Skies works came about because I'm thinking about what the opposite of war is." (James Benning)


-This project is a part of Atopia's Celluloid series.

-in collaboration with UKS

-with the sponsorship of NORSK KULTURRÅD (Arts Coucil Norway)




As part of the “Celluloid” series Atopia is pleased to present:

“Light Music”, a film installation by Lis Rhodes


Made in 1975 Light music is one of the most celebrated works of British expanded cinema. This pioneering work explores and foregrounds the audio-visual intersections within the apparatus of cinema. Here sound translates to image and image becomes the sound.


For two evenings only. Free admission.



Light Music

a film installation by Lis Rhodes


Atopia presentation in Kunstnernes Hus, October 2007




As part of Atopia’s Celluloid project “Line Describing a Cone” was presented in the UKS Gallery.




As part of Atopia’s Celluloid project:

4 films by Paul Sharits (1943-93)


The screening takes place at:

Prosjektskolen, Keyser Gate 1, Oslo

Saturday  18.November / kl.18.00. Free Entry.


Paul Sharits consciously challenges our eyes, ears and minds to withstand a barrage of high powered and often contradictory stimuli.

He merges violence with purity, creating stroboscopic films which affect our eyes on a physical level, we feel hypnotised and re-educated by some potent and mysterious force.  Sharits also explores psychological sensations, he seems intent upon going against the grain of our perception and feelings, we are forced to either stop the flow of images or to dive into them fully with total abandon.



12 mins, 16mm, 1968



30 mins, 16mm, 1976



4 mins, 16mm, 1976



25 mins, 16mm, 1965-68




As part of Atopia’s Celluloid project

a special screening of:


"La Region Centrale"

An epic film by Michael Snow (191 minutes, 16mm. 1971)


Geologisk Museum, Botanisk Hage, Tøyen, Oslo

Saturday 25 November, 2006 kl.12.30 - 16:00


Michael Snow designed a mechanized camera that was able to move in every direction imaginable without human intervention. The film is a “bodyless eye,” freely floating in space around a central spot that is never seen. Here, gravity is destorted, the horizon line is forgotten and the land mass is transformed into a whirling flat disc.

As part of Atopia's Celluloid 2006, we present this freely floating film in the rock solid environment of Oslo's geological museum. Join us for this once in a life time experience.



Shown at ATOPIA’s old space on Lakkegate:

Celluloid is a program of experimental film/video screenings in Atopia.

Every month in 2005 the works of a major film artist were screened and discussed.

Maya Deren

Sunday 20,02,2005 at 17:00


Robert Breer

Friday 11,03,2005 at 17:00.


Chris Marker

Friday 15,04,2005 at 17:00,


Hans Richter

Friday 27,05,2005 at 17:00 and


Stan Brakhage

Sunday 12, 06,2005 at 17:00.


Entrance is free of charge.


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